This story is over 5 years old.

The VICE Guide to Right Now

Airport Security Is Apparently Not Very Good at Detecting Weapons or Explosives

In a test, the TSA let 67 out of 70 undercover federal agents carrying fake bombs or guns through checkpoints. That's not very good!
June 1, 2015, 10:05pm

Via Flickr user dan paluska

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has traditionally been tight-lipped about whether they've ever thwarted any would-be terrorists. Maybe that's because a lot of people (including at least one former employee) think the agency is useless—or maybe that's because their critics are basically right. That's one takeaway, at least, from an embarrassing report that came out from ABC News on Monday.

The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the TSA, recently sent 70 so-called Red Agents to airports across America to test airport screening procedures, 67 of them made it through checkpoints carrying guns or fake bombs. That's a 95 percent success rate, or in other words a 95 percent failure rate on the TSA's part.

To be fair, the Red Team agents are experts who are then able to exploit loopholes in the TSA protocol. The whole point was to figure out what's wrong with the system so it could be made better. Also, the agency does routinely prevent dangerous items from making their way onto airplanes, even if their owners are just fake grenade hobbyists or throwing star enthusiasts.

Watch on VICE News: Terminal Insecurity: How Items That Can Be Purchased Past the TSA Checkpoint Can Be Turned Into Weapons

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is frustrated over the investigation's findings, according to ABC News. The federal agency has a budget of over $7 billion.

Want More In-Depth Stories About Airports?

1. It's Still Pretty Easy to Break Into Airports in America
2. The TSA's Instagram Feed is Vintage PR
3. Leaked CIA Manual Shows How Operatives Get Through Airport Security Without Blowing Their Cover
4. Georgia Now Allows Guns in Airports and Bars

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter.